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New York Hospitals Illegally Charge Victims For Rape Kits

Can you imagine as a rape victim getting charged to purchase a rape kit?  Then to further insult you have debt collectors come at your door when you can’t pay for it.

This has happened at least 200 times.  Rape victims were charged anywhere from $46 to $3000.

Barbara Underwood a New York State Attorney found seven New York hospitals that illegally billed rape victims for rape kits. 

The hospitals involved are Columbia University, Montefiore Nyack Hospital, New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, New York Presbyterian Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Richmond University Medical Center, St. Barnabas Hospital, and Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center.

What is supposed to happen by New York law is hospitals are to charge the state’s Office of Victim Services for these rape kits.  New York is also supposed to make sure they are available to everyone regardless of their financial situation.  

The law allows a woman to report a rape, without feeling they did something wrong. They also don’t have to put it through their insurance where they may fear stigma in doing so. 

The seven hospitals in question did not follow the law.  Nor did they even let rape victims know of their rights, which is another infraction of the law.

Under outrage, the seven hospitals have agreed to refund rape victims.  They are also to clearly outline the law in order for other rape victims to be properly treated.  Even though the seven hospitals are refunding all the victims they have not admitted to wrongdoing. 

If you think this is a unique occurrence for rape victims think again.  Arkansas and Alaska both have had incidences where hospital controversies were reported.

Time will only tell if what recently happened in New York will encourage changes with how hospitals handle future victims.

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